1 Corinthians 7:24
Brothers, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.
1. The word "calling" in a Christian sense is a condensed confession of faith. It means that our life is governed by a will above it, and is capable of receiving influences of attraction from the Spirit of God.
2. In its secular use, as a man's common employment, it discovers the same origin. It must have sprung up in days when it was believed that each man's business was sacred, and that he himself was on a Divine errand.
3. The expression stirs some feeling of mystery; yet a life without the sense of God calling it is far more perplexing than with that key to its changes. For severed from a Father it is not only a mystery but a contradiction, an enigma which neither genius nor sensuality nor stoicism, nor suicide can solve: Earnest minds, however, find rational comfort in it, and only triflers will ignore it altogether. So true is this that the world's great men have represented themselves as led on by a power beyond themselves — a genius, a destiny, or a deity. But the apostle refers to something higher and holier than this dreamy sentiment. It is God who calls. Christ has lived, and He asks living followers. He has died, and asks the spirit of sacrifice.
4. It is remarkable how perseveringly the New Testament clings to this conception (see Concordance on "called" and "calling"). Note its prominent teachings.
I. THE BUSINESS OF A CHRISTIAN LIFE IS SOMETHING SPECIAL AND DISTINCTIVE.
1. It is a "calling" by itself. It is to be distinguished from all other occupations, systems, &c. It springs from its own root, grows by its own laws, bears its own peculiar fruit.
2. It is a Divine calling. Paul speaks as if no pursuit were to he thought of in comparison with it.
II. THIS IDEA OF A CALLING INDIVIDUALISES THE CHRISTIAN PERSON. Paul had no conception of a social Christianity apart from the personal righteousness of the men who make up society, and therefore he uses personal language. It is quite vain for us to congratulate ourselves on a state of general integrity and order, if we tolerate depravity in ourselves, or excuse it in the usages of the class to which we belong. If we have a community of a thousand people, in which we want to see the Christian graces flourishing, our only way is to go to work and turn one and another into a Christian person, each beginning with himself. How weary God must be at hearing these Pharisaic praises of a Christian country, legislation, &c., from those who allow Christianity to conquer no one of their propensities.
III. NOTWITHSTANDING ALL THIS, THE CALLING IS OF UNIVERSAL APPLICATION. It is not meant for a class here and there. "Whosoever will"; and its speciality is the very ground of its universality. For it addresses men —
1. Of all kinds of mental equipment.
2. Of all varieties of outward fortune.
3. In every time.Conclusion: The text appeals to —
3. Men of action.
Parallel VersesKJV: Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.